Middle East

Palestine official renews rejection of dialogue with US

Palestinian Authority spokesman attributes move to US policy shifts on Jerusalem, refugees, settlements

Qais Abu Samra   | 21.03.2019
Palestine official renews rejection of dialogue with US Spokesman for Palestinian presidency, Nabil Abu Rudeineh

RAMALLAH, Palestine 

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), reiterated the PA’s refusal on Thursday to hold dialogue with the U.S. administration. 

Abu Rudeineh attributed the move to Washington's “recent retreat from its longstanding positions on Jerusalem, [Palestinian] refugees and [Israeli] settlements”.   

At a press conference held at the Palestinian Information Ministry’s Ramallah headquarters, Abu Rudeineh said the Palestinian leadership “will not be cowed into accepting the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’”.

The “Deal of the Century” is a backchannel U.S. plan to secure a peace settlement between the Palestinians and Israel.

While its terms remain vague, recent media leaks suggest that the plan would call on Palestinian refugees to concede their right to return to historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

According to Abu Rudeineh, the Palestine-U.S. relationship has been “broken” despite Ramallah’s desire to hold dialogue via third-party mediators.

“We are currently at a crossroads in our relationships with Hamas, Israel and the U.S. administration,” he said.

The official went on to assert that Arab capitals had already “told the Americans that they would not accept what the Palestinian people themselves have rejected”.

Ramallah severed contact with the White House in 2017 after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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